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MLS suspends Kinnear for Sunday playoff game; Di Vaio, Romero get extended bans

Nov 1, 2013, 8:29 PM EDT

Marco Di Vaio and Andrés Romero earned additional two-game suspensions for last night actions in Houston, but it’s a suspension to a non-player that was the bigger news out of New York on Friday. Late evening Eastern time, Major League Soccer announced that its Disciplinary Committee had handed a one-match suspension to Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, who will miss his team’s Sunday’s Eastern Conference semifinal opener against the New York Red Bulls.

Kinnear was handed the ban for leaving his technical area and entering the field of play in the 89th minute, a letter-of-the-law violation that overlooks the circumstances of his infraction. Kinnear’s entry onto the field came after Kofie Sarkodie was shoved to the ground by Romero, who was subsequently sent off for violent conduct. Kinnear appeared to be placating defender Corey Ashe as the melee wore down, a benevolent act that still violated the rules. On Sunday, he won’t be allowed on the sidelines or in the locker room as Houston hosts the Supporters’ Shield winners.

source: AP

Dom Kinnear left his technical area during Thursday’s confrontation. MLS has suspended the Dynamo boss for Sunday’s match against New York. (Photo: AP Photo.)

How much of an impact this has on the result will depend on Houston’s adjustments, but given the way Kinnear has steered his team through the last two postseasons, his absence could have a major impact, depending on how the game plays out. If everything goes to the team’s pre game plans, it may not matter. If New York jumps on Houston and the Dynamo need to adjust? They’ll have to do so without the two-time MLS Cup-winning coach.

On the other side, both Romero and Di Vaio had two games tacked on their their violent conduct, suspension they’ll start serving next March. After shoving Sarkodie to the ground, Romero violently kicked at the ball underneath the Dynamo defender. Di Vaio, Montréal’s first player on the seen, was also dismissed, multiple times appearing to scratch Ashe along the side of his face.

Nobody’s going to think twice about those bans, given how things ended last night in Houston. Kinnear’s absence, however, is sure to be discussed throughout the weekend. Houston will have to get by without him.

  1. perrinbar - Nov 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    This is when I hate letter of the law enforcement. He shouldn’t have to face a ban for this, it’s ridiculous.

    • Matthew - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      I agree, Perrin; a fine and a warning at best should’ve been Kinnear’s punishment for what happened. Yes, he left the technical area but under the circumstances, can you blame him for trying to play peacekeeeper at the time?

      • mlsconvert88888 - Nov 2, 2013 at 7:18 AM

        Yeah man. A couple players on a team that was essentially eliminated were creating drama, and I can sympathize that he was trying to keep his players from sinking to that level when they have more to play for. I can’t say that it is an unjust punishment, because really the head coach can’t be leaving that technical area, but in this case it feels wrong

  2. term3186 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Wowwwwwwww. Let’s just do whatever we can to help NYRB along eh?

  3. mkbryant3 - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Three games for Di Vaio twice scratching Ashe across the face with all five fingers? Well after play was stopped. Wow. Two additional games are added on for a bad tackle usually. But for scratching out a guy’s face? Lame. I’m not a Houston fan, but a fan of the league. This needs to be a bigger punishment.

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